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Publications


 

Inferring a User’s Intent on Joining or Passing by Social Groups


Andrea Bönsch, Alexander R. Bluhm, Jonathan Ehret, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
to be presented at the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents 2020 (IVA'20)
pubimg

Modeling the interactions between users and social groups of virtual agents (VAs) is vital in many virtual-reality-based applications. However, only little research on group encounters has been conducted yet. We intend to close this gap by focusing on the distinction between joining and passing-by a group. To enhance the interactive capacity of VAs in these situations, knowing the user’s objective is required to showreasonable reactions. To this end,we propose a classification scheme which infers the user’s intent based on social cues such as proxemics, gazing and orientation, followed by triggering believable, non-verbal actions on the VAs.We tested our approach in a pilot study with overall promising results and discuss possible improvements for further studies.

» Show BibTeX

@inproceedings{Boensch2020_JoinSG,
author = {Andrea Bönsch, Alexander R. Bluhm, Jonathan Ehret, and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
title = {Inferring a User’s Intent on Joining or Passing by Social Groups},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-4503-7586-3/20/09},
doi = {10.1145/3383652.3423862},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents},
numpages = {8},
location = {Virtual Event, Scotland Uk},
series = {IVA '20}
}




Evaluating the Influence of Phoneme-Dependent Dynamic Speaker Directivity of Embodied Conversational Agents’ Speech


Jonathan Ehret, Jonas Stienen, Chris Brozdowski, Andrea Bönsch, Irene Mittelberg, Michael Vorländer, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
to be presented at the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents 2020 (IVA'20)
pubimg

Generating natural embodied conversational agents within virtual spaces crucially depends on speech sounds and their directionality. In this work, we simulated directional filters to not only add directionality, but also directionally adapt each phoneme. We therefore mimic reality where changing mouth shapes have an influence on the directional propagation of sound. We conducted a study (n = 32) evaluating naturalism ratings, preference and distinguishability of omnidirectional speech auralization compared to static and dynamic, phoneme-dependent directivities. The results indicated that participants cannot distinguish dynamic from static directivity. Furthermore, participants’ preference ratings aligned with their naturalism ratings. There was no unanimity, however, with regards to which auralization is the most natural.

» Show BibTeX

@inproceedings{Ehret2020,
author = {Jonathan Ehret, Jonas Stienen, Chris Brozdowski, Andrea Bönsch, Irene
Mittelberg, Michael Vorländer, and TorstenW. Kuhlen},
title = {Evaluating the Influence of Phoneme-Dependent Dynamic
Speaker Directivity of Embodied Conversational Agents’ Speech},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-4503-7586-3/20/09},
doi = {10.1145/3383652.3423863},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents},
numpages = {8},
location = {Virtual Event, Scotland Uk},
series = {IVA '20}
}




Rilievo: Artistic Scene Authoring via Interactive Height Map Extrusion in VR


Sevinc Eroglu, Patric Schmitz, Carlos Aguilera Martinez, Jana Rusch, Leif Kobbelt, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
ACM SIGGRAPH 2020 Art Papers. Published in Leonardo Journal.
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The authors present a virtual authoring environment for artistic creation in VR. It enables the effortless conversion of 2D images into volumetric 3D objects. Artistic elements in the input material are extracted with a convenient VR-based segmentation tool. Relief sculpting is then performed by interactively mixing different height maps. These are automatically generated from the input image structure and appearance. A prototype of the tool is showcased in an analog-virtual artistic workflow in collaboration with a traditional painter. It combines the expressiveness of analog painting and sculpting with the creative freedom of spatial arrangement in VR.

» Show BibTeX

@article{eroglu2020rilievo,
title={Rilievo: Artistic Scene Authoring via Interactive Height Map Extrusion in VR},
author={Eroglu, Sevinc and Schmitz, Patric and Martinez, Carlos Aguilera and Rusch, Jana and Kobbelt, Leif and Kuhlen, Torsten W},
journal={Leonardo},
volume={53},
number={4},
pages={438--441},
year={2020},
publisher={MIT Press}
}





High-Fidelity Point-Based Rendering of Large-Scale 3D Scan Datasets


Patric Schmitz, Timothy Blut, Christian Mattes, Leif Kobbelt
IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
pubimg

Digitalization of 3D objects and scenes using modern depth sensors and high-resolution RGB cameras enables the preservation of human cultural artifacts at an unprecedented level of detail. Interactive visualization of these large datasets, however, is challenging without degradation in visual fidelity. A common solution is to fit the dataset into available video memory by downsampling and compression. The achievable reproduction accuracy is thereby limited for interactive scenarios, such as immersive exploration in Virtual Reality (VR). This degradation in visual realism ultimately hinders the effective communication of human cultural knowledge. This article presents a method to render 3D scan datasets with minimal loss of visual fidelity. A point-based rendering approach visualizes scan data as a dense splat cloud. For improved surface approximation of thin and sparsely sampled objects, we propose oriented 3D ellipsoids as rendering primitives. To render massive texture datasets, we present a virtual texturing system that dynamically loads required image data. It is paired with a single-pass page prediction method that minimizes visible texturing artifacts. Our system renders a challenging dataset in the order of 70 million points and a texture size of 1.2 terabytes consistently at 90 frames per second in stereoscopic VR.

» Show Videos



The Impact of a Virtual Agent’s Non-Verbal Emotional Expression on a User’s Personal Space Preferences


Andrea Bönsch, Sina Radke, Jonathan Ehret, Ute Habel, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
to be presented at the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents 2020 (IVA'20)
pubimg

Virtual-reality-based interactions with virtual agents (VAs) are likely subject to similar influences as human-human interactions. In either real or virtual social interactions, interactants try to maintain their personal space (PS), an ubiquitous, situative, flexible safety zone. Building upon larger PS preferences to humans and VAs with angry facial expressions, we extend the investigations to whole-body emotional expressions. In two immersive settings–HMD and CAVE–66 males were approached by an either happy, angry, or neutral male VA. Subjects preferred a larger PS to the angry VA when being able to stop him at their convenience (Sample task), replicating previous findings, and when being able to actively avoid him (PassBy task). In the latter task, we also observed larger distances in the CAVE than in the HMD.

» Show Videos
» Show BibTeX

@inproceedings{Boensch2020_PS,
author = {Andrea Bönsch, Sina Radke, Jonathan Ehret, Ute Habel, and Torsten W.
Kuhlen},
title = {The Impact of a Virtual Agent’s Non-Verbal Emotional Expression
on a User’s Personal Space Preferences},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-4503-7586-3/20/09.},
doi = {10.1145/3383652.3423888},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents},
numpages = {8},
location = {Virtual Event, Scotland Uk},
series = {IVA '20}
}





The 19 Unifying Questionnaire Constructs of Artificial Social Agents: An IVA Community Analysis


Siska Fitrianie, Merijn Bruijnes, Deborah Richards, Andrea Bönsch, Willem-Paul Brinkman
to be presented at the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents 2020 (IVA'20)
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In this paper, we report on the multi-year Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) community effort, involving more than 80 researchers worldwide, researching the IVA community interests and practises in evaluating human interaction with an artificial social agent (ASA). The effort is driven by previous IVA workshops and plenary IVA discussions related to the methodological crisis on the evaluation of ASAs. A previous literature review showed a continuous practise of creating new questionnaires instead of reusing validated questionnaires. We address this issue by examining questionnaire measurement constructs used in empirical studies between 2013 to 2018 published in the IVA conference. We identified 189 constructs used in 89 questionnaires that are reported across 81 studies. Although these constructs have different names, they often measure the same thing. In this paper, we, therefore, present a unifying set of 19 constructs that captures more than 80% of the 189 constructs initially identified. We established this set in two steps. First, 49 researchers classified the constructs in broad theoretically based categories. Next, 23 researchers grouped the constructs in each category on their similarity. The resulting 19 groups form a unifying set of constructs, which will be the basis for the future questionnaire instrument of human-ASA interaction.

» Show BibTeX

@inproceedings{Fitrianie2020,
author = {Siska Fitrianie, Merijn Bruijnes, Deborah Richards, Andrea Bönsch, and Willem-Paul Brinkman},
title = {The 19 Unifying Questionnaire Constructs of Artificial Social
Agents: An IVA Community Analysis},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-4503-7586-3/20/09},
doi = {10.1145/3383652.3423873},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents},
numpages = {8},
location = {Virtual Event, Scotland Uk},
series = {IVA '20}
}




A Three-Level Approach to Texture Mapping and Synthesis on 3D Surfaces


Kersten Schuster, Philip Trettner, Patric Schmitz, Leif Kobbelt
Proceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2020
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We present a method for example-based texturing of triangular 3D meshes. Our algorithm maps a small 2D texture sample onto objects of arbitrary size in a seamless fashion, with no visible repetitions and low overall distortion. It requires minimal user interaction and can be applied to complex, multi-layered input materials that are not required to be tileable. Our framework integrates a patch-based approach with per-pixel compositing. To minimize visual artifacts, we run a three-level optimization that starts with a rigid alignment of texture patches (macro scale), then continues with non-rigid adjustments (meso scale) and finally performs pixel-level texture blending (micro scale). We demonstrate that the relevance of the three levels depends on the texture content and type (stochastic, structured, or anisotropic textures).

» Show BibTeX

@article{schuster2020,
author = {Schuster, Kersten and Trettner, Philip and Schmitz, Patric and Kobbelt, Leif},
title = {A Three-Level Approach to Texture Mapping and Synthesis on 3D Surfaces},
year = {2020},
issue_date = {Apr 2020},
publisher = {The Association for Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching},
address = {USA},
volume = {3},
number = {1},
url = {https://doi.org/10.1145/3384542},
doi = {10.1145/3384542},
journal = {Proc. ACM Comput. Graph. Interact. Tech.},
month = apr,
articleno = {1},
numpages = {19},
keywords = {material blending, surface texture synthesis, texture mapping}
}





Immersive Sketching to Author Crowd Movements in Real-time


Andrea Bönsch, Sebastian J. Barton, Jonathan Ehret, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
to be presented at the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents 2020 (IVA'20)
pubimg

the flow of virtual crowds in a direct and interactive manner. Here, options to redirect a flow by sketching barriers, or guiding entities based on a sketched network of connected sections are provided. As virtual crowds are increasingly often embedded into virtual reality (VR) applications, 3D authoring is of interest.

In this preliminary work, we thus present a sketch-based approach for VR. First promising results of a proof-of-concept are summarized and improvement suggestions, extensions, and future steps are discussed.

» Show BibTeX

@inproceedings{Boensch2020_Sketching,
author = {Andrea Bönsch, Sebastian J. Barton, Jonathan Ehret, and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
title = {Immersive Sketching to Author Crowd Movements in Real-time},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-4503-7586-3/20/09},
doi = {10.1145/3383652.3423883},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents},
numpages = {3},
location = {Virtual Event, Scotland Uk},
series = {IVA '20}
}




Calibratio - A Small, Low-Cost, Fully Automated Motion-to-Photon Measurement Device


Sebastian Pape, Marcel Krüger, Jan Müller, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
10th Workshop on Software Engineering and Architectures for Realtime Interactive Systems (SEARIS), 2020
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Since the beginning of the design and implementation of virtual environments, these systems have been built to give the users the best possible experience. One detrimental factor for the user experience was shown to be a high end-to-end latency, here measured as motionto-photon latency, of the system. Thus, a lot of research in the past was focused on the measurement and minimization of this latency in virtual environments. Most existing measurement-techniques require either expensive measurement hardware like an oscilloscope, mechanical components like a pendulum or depend on manual evaluation of samples. This paper proposes a concept of an easy to build, low-cost device consisting of a microcontroller, servo motor and a photo diode to measure the motion-to-photon latency in virtual reality environments fully automatically. It is placed or attached to the system, calibrates itself and is controlled/monitored via a web interface. While the general concept is applicable to a variety of VR technologies, this paper focuses on the context of CAVE-like systems.

» Show Videos
» Show BibTeX

@InProceedings{Pape2020a,
author = {Sebastian Pape and Marcel Kr\"{u}ger and Jan M\"{u}ller and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
title = {{Calibratio - A Small, Low-Cost, Fully Automated Motion-to-Photon Measurement Device}},
booktitle = {10th Workshop on Software Engineering and Architectures for Realtime Interactive Systems (SEARIS)},
year = {2020},
month={March}
}





Joint Dual-Tasking in VR: Outlining the Behavioral Design of Interactive Human Companions Who Walk and Talk with a User


Andrea Bönsch, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE), 2020
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To resemble realistic and lively places, virtual environments are increasingly often enriched by virtual populations consisting of computer-controlled, human-like virtual agents. While the applications often provide limited user-agent interaction based on, e.g., collision avoidance or mutual gaze, complex user-agent dynamics such as joint locomotion combined with a secondary task, e.g., conversing, are rarely considered yet. These dual-tasking situations, however, are beneficial for various use-cases: guided tours and social simulations will become more realistic and engaging if a user is able to traverse a scene as a member of a social group, while platforms to study crowd and walking behavior will become more powerful and informative. To this end, this presentation deals with different areas of interaction dynamics, which need to be combined for modeling dual-tasking with virtual agents. Areas covered are kinematic parameters for the navigation behavior, group shapes in static and mobile situations as well as verbal and non-verbal behavior for conversations.

» Show Videos
» Show BibTeX

@InProceedings{Boensch2020a,
author = {Andrea B\"{o}nsch and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
title = {{Joint Dual-Tasking in VR: Outlining the Behavioral Design of Interactive Human Companions Who Walk and Talk with a User}},
booktitle = {IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE)},
year = {2020},
month={March}
}





Towards a Graphical User Interface for Exploring and Fine-Tuning Crowd Simulations


Andrea Bönsch, Marcel Jonda, Jonathan Ehret, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE), 2020
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Simulating a realistic navigation of virtual pedestrians through virtual environments is a recurring subject of investigations. The various mathematical approaches used to compute the pedestrians’ paths result, i.a., in different computation-times and varying path characteristics. Customizable parameters, e.g., maximal walking speed or minimal interpersonal distance, add another level of complexity. Thus, choosing the best-fitting approach for a given environment and use-case is non-trivial, especially for novice users.

To facilitate the informed choice of a specific algorithm with a certain parameter set, crowd simulation frameworks such as Menge provide an extendable collection of approaches with a unified interface for usage. However, they often miss an elaborated visualization with high informative value accompanied by visual analysis methods to explore the complete simulation data in more detail – which is yet required for an informed choice. Benchmarking suites such as SteerBench are a helpful approach as they objectively analyze crowd simulations, however they are too tailored to specific behavior details. To this end, we propose a preliminary design of an advanced graphical user interface providing a 2D and 3D visualization of the crowd simulation data as well as features for time navigation and an overall data exploration.

» Show Videos
» Show BibTeX

@InProceedings{Boensch2020b,
author = {Andrea B\"{o}nsch and Marcel Jonda and Jonathan Ehret and Torsten W. Kuhlen},
title = {{Towards a Graphical User Interface for Exploring and Fine-Tuning Crowd Simulations}},
booktitle = {IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE)},
year = {2020},
month={March}
}





Talk: Insite: A Generalized Pipeline for In-transit Visualization and Analysis


Simon Oehrl, Jan Müller, Ali Can Demiralp, Marcel Krüger, Sebastian Spreizer, Benjamin Weyers, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
NEST Conference 2020
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Neuronal network simulators are essential to computational neuroscience, enabling the study of the nervous system through in-silico experiments. Through utilization of high-performance computing resources, these simulators are able to simulate increasingly complex and large networks of neurons today. It also creates new challenges for the analysis and visualization of such simulations. In-situ and in-transport strategies are popular approaches in these scenarios. They enable live monitoring of running simulations and parameter adjustment in the case of erroneous configurations which can save valuable compute resources.

This talk will present the current status of our pipeline for in-transport analysis and visualization of neuronal network simulator data. The pipeline is able to couple with NEST along other simulators with data management (querying, filtering and merging) from multiple simulator instances. Finally, the data is passed to end-user applications for visualization and analysis. The goal is to be integrated into third party tools such as the multi-view visual analysis toolkit ViSimpl.




Talk: Proximity in Social VR - Interpersonal Distance between a User and Virtual Agents


Andrea Bönsch
3rd Workshop on "Person-to-Person Interaction: From Analysis to Applications", 2020

Proxemic is a well known social behavioral measure, where the interpersonal distance between interactans is evaluated - either in real or in virtual social encounters. Given the prominent role of emotional expressions in our everyday social interactions, we investigated how emotions of a virtual agent affect proxemic adaptions while taking the aspects spatial constellation between user and agent as well as user’s level of dynamics into account.




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